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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Berlin Wall goes back up: Dedication of segments at MV library reflects change from Cold War icon to symbol of freedom


The dedication of the Berlin Wall, above, draws a large turnout at the Mountain View Public Library.

November 1989 marked the official fall of the infamous Berlin Wall, a Cold War icon that divided countries, political ideologies and family members. Recognizing the 24th anniversary of that historic event, Mountain View made history of its own Thursday when city officials and a prominent German family officially dedicated two segments of the wall in front of the city’s library.

San Francisco German Consul General Peter Rothen also was on hand to show his country’s appreciation of the city’s efforts to preserve and install the two 12-foot-high, multi-ton concrete slabs as historic monuments.

“This is a joyful occasion,” said Rothen, who referred to the wall remnants as “beautiful pieces that are now artwork.”

The two segments, adjacent to the front entrance of the library at 585 Franklin St., are encased in glass and stand adjacent to one another.

“These pieces should be seen by as many people as possible,” Rothen said, noting that the wall as a whole was a symbol of oppression but these dedicated pieces are now “symbols of freedom and democracy, and German-American friendships.”

Erected in 1961, the Berlin Wall separated East and West Germany. It ran for 96 miles and denied passage between the two sides. The fall of communism and the Soviet Union led to a prophecy fulfilled when then-President Ronald Reagan said to former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Shortly after the wall fell, Mountain View residents Frank R. Golzen and Kunigunda Golzen had two segments transported to property they owned on Marine Way. The segments stood on display on the Golzens’ land for more than 20 years until Frank passed away in 2008. Frank felt that the segments symbolized American resolve and freedom.

“Dad felt bringing a section of the Berlin Wall to the United States was a unique opportunity,” said daughter Renee Roberts, representing Golzen family members in attendance.

Roberts said her parents were born and raised in Germany but moved to America prior to World War II for a better way of life. The Golzens operated a successful Mountain View business for several decades.

Family members sold the Marine Way property last year. Concurrent with the sale, the family approached the city about the Berlin Wall sections. The city council accepted the segments Sept. 18, 2012, as a donation from the family.

The Visual Arts Committee, councilmembers and city staff selected the location in front of the library.

Both wall segments are littered with graffiti, drawn on the West German side.

One section shows an Elvis caricature, and scrawled on the other section is “Wir Lieben Dich,” which means “We Love You.”

Rothen said approximately 50 such Berlin Wall segments are now in the U.S., eight in California. Only two pairs are located in Northern California – the other pair is in Monterey.

In addition to introductory comments by Mayor John Inks, last week’s ceremony featured a performance by the string orchestra section of the Mountain View-based German International School of Silicon Valley.

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